Hope Church Nursery School


  A nurturing preschool for children ages 2-5

Our Teachers, 2017-2018

Linda Bagzis (28th year)

     I currently teach the morning class of four year olds.  I also taught the 3's and Pre-K classes in past years.  

    I have a B.A.  in Elementary Education from Whittier College in California.  My other work with children includes tutoring, teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and serving as Cub Scout den mother and Brownie Scout leader.  My husband Larry and I have three adult children and two grandchildren.  In my spare time I like to read, walk at Trexler Park and make games for school.

Mary Jane Brochu (17th year)

     I am currently the Assistant Director and a 4's assistant, but have taught and assisted with various age groups and classes. 

     I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College with an English major and Elementary Education minor (including PA teaching certification) an MBA from Temple University, and many additional Early Childhood credits.  I worked at Air Products for eight years as a Systems Training Specialist and that particular teaching experience helped me to realize that I am much better suited for guiding children than adults!

     I did , however, meet my husband Philip while at Air Products and we have been married since 1983.  We have three sons (two of them married) and a daughter who is a college student in Boston.  All of the children attended Hope and when Charlotte started off to kindergarten, I simultaneously began my career here at Hope.  I am grateful for this opportunity to both be doing what I love and loving what I do. 

     All of our children are a one-of-a-kind miracles:  different, interesting and amazing.  I am fascinated with trying to figure out what makes them tick.  In addition, it is a genuine pleasure to work amidst a group of talented, dedicated and kind professionals.  Life is good!

Stephanie Dill (8th year) 

     I began my journey at Hope in 2001 as a parent when my first daughter turned three.  I am still involved with the school, but in a much different role.  I am currently a teacher in the 3's and 4's, PM 3's assistant teacher with Miss Marie, and lunch bunch teacher.  I was very happy with the experience my three daughters had while attending Hope.  It is my goal for each child to have the same nurturing experience as they begin their social and academic journey.

     Besides being a mother, my other experience includes assisting as a Brownie Troop leader and CCD teacher at St. Thomas More Church.  In my free time, my husband and I enjoy spending time attending the various sporting events our daughters participate in throughout the year, which keeps us very busy!

Danell Fowler (2nd year)

     I teach the 3's program and am an assistant in the 4's class.  

     I am a graduate of Kutztown University with a BS in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. I taught at Dieruff High School in Allentown and Southern Lehigh High School in Center Valley for a total of 10 years. I then had my second daughter, and my husband and I decided that I would find part-time positions instead of a full-time teaching position. I started teaching preschool at Schoolhouse Christian Preschool when my youngest started attending there since it was close to where we were living at the time in Saucon Valley. We then moved to Orefield where we are now. I then went back to LCCC to get my ESL certification and started ESL tutoring to children and adults. I then became a registered behavior technician and assisted children with special needs. I also taught Vacation Bible School and Sunday School for many years. My life has now lead me to Hope Nursery School where I look forward to enriching the preschool children that I am entrusted to. I am very excited for this opportunity!

     My 2 daughters keep my husband and I very busy with their musical and sports schedules and activities. I also enjoy reading and volunteering at a local animal shelter.

Marie Hagan-Pettijohn (16th year)

     Better known as "Miss Marie" here at Hope Church Nursery School,  I am currently teaching in the 3's program.

      In January 1996, life afforded me the opportunity to continue my education. I graduated May 2000 from Lehigh Carbon Community College with an A.A.S. Degree in Early Childhood Education. Prior to returning to school, I worked for twenty years in Corporate America as a Human Resource Representative. 

     I was privileged to acquire my teaching internship credits here at Hope as an Assistant Teacher in the 3?s Program until the Spring of 2002.  From the Fall of 2000 until the Spring of 2006 I was the teacher for 3s and 4s Program at The Village School in Old Zionsville. The doors opened for me again here at Hope in September 2008. Faith, Hope, and Love are all here at Hope Church Nursery School.

     My husband, Caryl, and I moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania in March 1995 with the purchase of a beautiful farm. We are kept very busy in the Spring, Summer, and Fall with planting and tending a large garden and making lots of apple butter and cider.

     I believe that each and every child is a unique individual, whom we should respect, care for, and teach for the sheer joy of who they are and not for who we want them to be or become. I will always be happy as long as I have children in my life. Thank you for sharing the joy of your child.

Ingrid Klicker (19th year)

     I teach the 4's at Hope Church Nursery School. Hope has been part of my life for many years, first as a parent, then as a teacher and now as a grandparent!  In addition to my Bachelor of Arts in History and English I have credits in Early Childhood Education along with over 20 years of teaching experience in the elementary and preschool setting. 

     My husband Ken and I have been married since July 1983. We have four wonderful children who are all graduates of Hope. Our oldest, Owen, lives locally and he and his wife Lisa have blessed us with two beautiful granddaughters who also attend Hope. Our other three children are scattered throughout the country.  Anna lives in California and she and her husband Andrew have gifted us with a very lively grandson and sweet granddaughter.  Our son Peter works near Los Angeles as an FBI Special Agent and our youngest,  Jenna,  lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Richie.  Along with reading, traveling to visit our children is one of my favorite past times.

     As a grandmother I am rediscovering the miracle of child development. Children have such a drive to explore and to master their environment. Their sense of wonder is infectious and it is a true joy to work with preschool children and see the world through their eyes. I am delighted to be part of Hope Church Nursery School!

Lisa Klicker (1st year)

     I am the assistant teacher in the AM 3's alongside Mrs. Fowler.

     I graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in biology.  After college, I worked in a microbiology lab for seven years performing molecular testing.  Although I really enjoyed my job, I decided to stay home after my second child was born.

     My husband, Owen, and I have two amazing daughters- Emma and Ava.  Both girls have been Hope students starting in the TOTs program, and it's been wonderful to watch them grow and learn in such a special place.  Although Emma has moved onto elementary school, I credit a lot of her success there to the guidance and support she received while at Hope.

     I developed a closer relationship to Hope myself as a parent representative on the school committee and by maintaining the school website.  Now that my girls are older, I have the opportunity to be an even greater aspect!  With excellent tutelage from my mother-in-law, the original  and incredible Mrs. Klicker, I am very excited to start a new chapter of my life in early childhood education and become part of such a caring community of teachers and families.

Holly Martin (33rd year)

     After retiring as the director at Hope Church Nursery School in 2015, I was thrilled to be offered the position as assistant teacher in the TOTs last spring.  

     I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Bloomsburg University in Elementary Education and additionally have taken thirty-six undergraduate/graduate credits from LCCC, Marywood, Penn State and Villanova.  In addition to my experience at Hope, I taught Early Childhood/Early Intervention courses at Lehigh Carbon Community College and also served as a consultant for Unconditional Childcare.

     My husband, Ken,  and I have three terrific children and they have blessed us with seven grandchildren.  Much of our time is spent babysitting these precious kids.  All three of my children attended HCNS where they developed a genuine love for learning.

     Ken and I enjoy biking, traveling (we just experienced the first of hopefully many river cruises), working out at the fitness center, reading, and spending time with our friends and family.  

     For me, there's no place like Hope!

Rebecca Michael (6th year)

     I currently teach the TOTs and PM 4's, along with Lunch Bunch, FAO and STEM.  My journey at Hope began in 2008 when I registered my oldest son for the 3's program, and I haven't left!  I can't imagine teaching at any other school.  It is a unique environment, unlike any I have ever been fortunate enough to be a part of.  The warmth and caring of all of my fellow teachers helps children to thrive educationally, socially, and emotionally.

      I have been married to my wonderful husband Seth since June 2003.  I am blessed with three children-Anthony, Patrick, and Anna.  I have an Elementary School degree from Rowan University, and have continued my education in early childhood, taking the occasional class at LCCC.  When I am not at Hope, I enjoy watching my boys play hockey, and watching my daughter in dance and gymnastics. I also manage my son Patrick's hockey team, am a PTO treasurer, and a room parent for Patrick and Anna's classrooms.  I also like to exercise (when I can), read, and watch movies.  I look forward to teaching at Hope for many years!

Nina Pauloski (21st year)

     I began as an assistant 3's teacher in 1996, and now I am privileged to teach 3's, 4's, and Pre-K!  I also enjoy playing the piano when the children gather for music.  My love and respect for Hope Church Nursery School grew before my time here, as my three daughters all attended Hope!

      I graduated from Kutztown University with a B.S. in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Music.  I also have an ESL Program Specialist Certification.  My experience in teaching ESL, in assisting a child with special needs, in working as a Title 1 Aide, and in private tutoring has given me a varied understanding of learning.  I continue to teach Sunday school and Vacation Bible School.

      My husband, Jim, and I have been married since July of 1979.  We live in the neighborhood and raised three wonderful daughters who have all spread their wings to other states.  Ann and her husband live in Virginia Beach with their two boys and baby girl.  Jenna and her husband live in Oregon with their little boy.  Ellen lives and works in Athens, GA.  We are blessed to have our family and treasure the times we get to see them!

      I am also blessed with my Hope family of teachers and children!  I continue to delight in the things children say, in the pictures they make, in the creative structures and play worlds they create, in their enthusiasm and energy!  I hope they will learn to be kind and love to learn.

Diane Salute (6th year)

     I am a teacher assistant with the 3's program. Besides working at Hope, I also substitute teach in the East Penn and Salisbury school districts. Prior to joining our school, I taught at The Village School in Old Zionsville and at TASIS in Thorpe, England. 

      I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drew University and reside in Zionsville with my husband, Michael.  We have two adult children, Andrew and Emily. When not working with children, I like to travel, bake, read, and play Scrabble and Mah Jongg!  

Ellen Switzer (17th year)

     I teach Pre-K as well as Friday Afternoon Out and Lunch Bunch.  I'm one of the very fortunate people in this world who LOVES what they do for a living and even more fortunate because I work with amazing women who feel exactly the same way. Working with children is a gift like no other because you both teach them and learn from them.

     I have a BA in Communications from Rutgers University and also work at Rodale Child Care during the summers. My husband Scott and I have been married since 1983 and have two children; Kayla, a high school teacher in Seilensgrove Area, PA and Drew,  a cadet at Virginia Military Institute. I also have a 110lb puppy, Jake, who fills the house now that my kids are gone!

Our Director

Jessie Geist (3rd year)

      I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with 30 credits in early childhood, as well as a Private Academic Nursery/Kindergarten Certificate. I recently obtained my Director's Credential from LCCC.  I have been working with children for over twenty years, including fifteen as a director and preschool teacher. My husband, Jim, and I have been married for twenty-two years and have three boys: a senior at University of Central Florida, a junior at Penn State, and a junior at Parkland High School.

     I am thrilled to be at Hope and I plan to continue our "learn through play" philosophy that our dedicated teachers have had for over fifty years!   I am also excited to expand our enrichment programs and add STEM to our curriculum this year.   I am extremely impressed with each teacher's positive teaching style and rapport with the children.  I am blessed to work at such a wonderful school!